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November 25, 2013

Careful!

Christianity

So be very careful to love the Lord your God.
Joshua 23:11 NLT

Careful is one of those words whose meaning has been watered down through overuse. The term ‘full of care’ carries more weight and yet it means exactly the same – ‘careful’ is just shorthand.

The command ‘be very careful’ is really stressing the need for care. It’s a command which I really need to take to heart and really need to work on. I can make up my mind in the morning to love the Lord all day but without concentrating and taking great care to do so, the other cares of my life start to edge in and push God out.

The verse also starts with the word ‘so’ showing that there is a reason to be very careful. I have so many reasons, so many blessings and I should call them to mind all the time.

I really need to love God more – more often and more deeply. 

Hold on tight

Christianity

But be very careful to obey all the commands and the instructions that Moses gave to you. Love the Lord your God, walk in all his ways, obey his commands, hold firmly to him, and serve him with all your heart and all your soul.
Joshua 22:5 NLT

Think of a small child who gets a fright. He will immediately run to his mum or dad and wrap his arms around his or her legs, pressing in tightly for protection and safety. The child might still be frightened, but will be less so and will stay there till the threat has gone.

Jesus says that we should be like children, that the kingdom of heaven is theirs.

I should hold firmly to my Father in heaven, all the time. I should bury my face into him, drawing in deeper and deeper. He will never leave me – I should never leave him. 

Then I won’t be frightened.

Love All

Christianity

The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith.
1 Timothy 1:5 NLT

There are many different meanings to the word ‘love’ and not every kind of love is good.

The love that Paul is taking about he is a special love, one that has no selfish or sensual or sensuous motive.

Love that comes from a pure heart is love that is perfect and genuine. It is given for the perfect reason – love itself.

Love that comes from a clear conscience is not given out of guilt or even just to avoid potential guilt. It is not given for gain. It is love that is given because Christ, who removed all guilt, gave it when he died for me to remove my guilt.

Love that comes through genuine faith is there because a real understanding and belief in Jesus knows exactly what love is – his perfect sacrifice on the cross so that I may have eternal life.

Love like that cannot be kept in. It cannot be hidden. It cannot be withheld. Love like that is to be shared with reckless abandon!